Sustainable Urban Drainage - SUDS
Traditionally, urban areas have been built with large impermeable surfaces and underground pipe drainage systems designed to discharge surface water in quantity, but without any regard to water quality or wildlife. Now there is much more emphasis on taking a holistic approach with lower impact on the wider environment, to attenuate the flow at source and improve the quality of water discharged using Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).
The idea is to take a flexible approach and replicate natural drainage to take away dirty and surface water run-off, collecting, storing and cleaning it before releasing it slowly back into the environment, often via watercourses.
SUDS should use little or no energy (other than sunlight), be easy to manage, resilient and environmentally and aesthetically attractive. Such systems can be designed to work in most urban settings, from hard-surfaced areas to soft landscaped features, and can incorporate a range of different components and methods of control:
- Filter strips and swales
- Permeable surfaces and filter drains
- Infiltration devices
- Basins and ponds